Sunday, August 29, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! We encourage you to pick up a project and put some stitches in today.

The only hand stitching I did so far this week was to finish the binding on my mini mug mat and my monthly placemat. Totally relaxing.

I have a new embroidery pattern pressed and ready to start stitching and that is what I will be  stitching today.

I came across an interesting article about "Embroidery as Therapy". I did not now that World War I veterans with "shell shock" used embroidery to ease their trauma. I have always believed that hand stitching improves mental health, and as the article says hand stitching can be used to "bring peace, find friends, gain confidence and make a life".

Love Welcomes
And still today, people around the world are using stitching to help trauma survivors. Programs such as Love Welcomes helps refugee women "begin to stitch their lives back together". They are using recycled materials like old life jackets to create something beautiful as a way to benefit women fleeing poverty and violence. I love their "Theory of Change" and if you are anything like me, and just feel like you have to "do something", maybe this is something you can do!?

Here is another interesting article about opportunities to help refugees around the world

And now, I am sitting on my stitching chair in the back yard, soaking up the last bits of summer weather and slowly putting in one stitch at a time. What are you hand stitching today?

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Saturday, August 28, 2021

Mini Table Scraps

Aqua is the August colour at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, and I have really enjoyed working with this colour. 

First I made a little mug mat that I posted about yesterday, and then I found a bag of little aqua HSTs that were already squared to the perfect 1.25" size. That's my favourite little size to manage easily. 

Because it has been really hot and humid here, I didn't want to turn on the iron, so I used my seam roller instead. It is a tool the works quite well to flatten the seams as you build a block. E
ach block has 13 pieces and measures 2 3/8" in the finished mini quilt.

I was able to make 12 friendship star blocks from the scraps and that was just enough (with sashing) to become a placemat. Of course, there is one bad apple in every bunch that needs to be set straight! 

The quilting was a simple stitch in the ditch using the walking foot. Isn't the happy flower fabric lovely for the cornerstones and border? 

This is the fabric used for the backing of the placemat. 

Isn't the selvage on this Henry Glass fabric just too adorable?!?  The "little old lady who lived in a shoe" comes immediately to my mind and this is a whole neighbourhood of shoes to live in!

Here is my aqua placemat, which looks bluer in this photo than it is in real life. Finished size is 15" x 11.5" 

Linking up to the Table Scraps Challenge on Friday, the Rainbow Scrap Challenge on Saturday, and Wendy will link me up to the mini quilts challenge at Constant Quilters.

Friday, August 27, 2021

A Quick Finish

I have really enjoyed sewing aqua scraps this month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I am finishing my monthly placemat which I'll post tomorrow but today... drum roll please... here is the sweet little mug mat I finished.

On the right side is a 3" sewing machine block. You can access the free pattern from the Fat Quarter Shop. I love love, super love this little block, but look at the 16 tiny pieces that must fit together perfectly to make the block!

On the left side is a heart block, with a hand quilted heart inside. This block was much easier to make and I was thinking... wouldn't this block make a fun Rainbow Scrap Challenge project?

What is cuter than a mini mug mat? A mini mug mat being modelled by the sweetest granddog on the planet! Max loves to eat quilts, so he likely thought I was giving him a quilted snack. Of course he was rewarded with a real doggie treat for being such a cute model for the photo.

The finished size of the mug mat is 9" x 5.5". 

Linking up to the  Saturday RSC party 

Monday, August 23, 2021

Design Wall Monday Pumpkins

I'm not sure why this mystery quiltalong has captured my interest so much. I'm not a big Halloween fan, but I have really enjoyed sewing this project. 

Well, except when things don't end up where they should be. That's okay, these problems are so easy to fix.

Here are my  pumpkin blocks. 
I super love these! I'm very happy with my orange fabric choices. The pieces went together so well with the great directions in this pattern. 

I'm ready to move on to the next block, which is a complex star block, and the finishing instructions for this project will be posted today.
Linking up to Design Wall Monday at Judy's

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching linky party! 


Due to covid restrictions for over a year and a half, we are quite out of practice for regular party protocol so I am to reminding you to "Bring Your Own Beverage" and "Bring Your Own Project" to this party! 

I have been hand quilting more Life is Beautiful blocks. On these blocks I use a good quality quilting thread quilt to quilt a horizontal and vertical line, then a circle around the 4 patch bullseye, and one echo circle. Then I put in big stitches all around the block with cheap thread. Stabilizing the edges makes the process much easier when it's time to put the blocks together in quilt-as-you-go style.

I managed to take an "action shot" this week while quilting. It's very s.l.o.w. stitching, so the photo is not blurred at all so you can see the "action"! LOL 

I do like these Thera Gloves for reducing hand pain, but would love to know if anyone has other product suggestions.

And in other exciting stitching news, my daughter has picked up her embroidery project. She has moved out again to go to grad school in another city, and she sent me an "action shot" from her high rise apartment. You can see granddog Max looking out the window. I miss them both, but am delighted to see them happy in their new home. And to see my daughter hand stitching makes me so happy in a way that I can't even explain! 

What are you hand stitching today?  Please link up your blog post below and share your projects with us. We'd liked to encourage you on your slow journey.

[**Sorry I had to put the comment moderation feature on my blog today since a bot took an interest in my blog and has been submitting dozens of creepy comments. When the bot moves on, I'll take the comment delay off again.]

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Saturday, August 21, 2021

Scrappy Saturday

One of my Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects it to make the Quiltville pattern called Bitcoin. These are the aqua ladders I have made so far this month. Some of these scraps are leftover from a quilt I finished in 2009! It's time they had a chance to shine in a scrappy quilt.

I've also started a baby quilt for my daughter's best friend's baby. Yes, the baby is already here and I need to get it done before the baby goes to school! LOL
But at least I've started, and I am enjoying making these 8" star blocks and I'm loving this soft flannel. The request was for a gender neutral quilt, but now that the baby girl is here, I'm just adding some aqua and a touch of pink because it makes me happy!

And if squirrels would stop running around in the quilting room, the baby quilt  would already been finished. 

Linking up to the RSC party

Thursday, August 19, 2021

August UFO Finished

My scrappy version of the Grassy Creek mystery is finished!

There was only one  incident while machine quilting this project. The edge of the quilt had flipped over underneath and I did not notice. Right where the green arrow points is a safety pin that was tucked underneath part of the area I was quilting, and I almost stitched right over it! YIKES! That could have been a quilter's worst nightmare and would have at least broke a needle, and at worst, damaged the timing on my machine. But magically I quilted right beside the pin and was able to easily unstitch the mess. Crisis narrowly averted!

I machine quilted hearts around the outside of the quilt since the blocks seemed to form a heart. I am very happy with how these designs turned out. The hardest part was getting the sides of these organic heart designs to look somewhat symmetrical without any pre-marking.

Here is the finished quilt hanging on the clothesline. Every block has different green, red, orange and grey scraps. There is one piecing mistake which I meant to fix and then forgot to do it. I only remembered as I was hand stitching the binding and noticed it again. Oh well... it's done now and it's a mistake I'll just have to accept.

I realized when I was machine quilting this project that this is the perfect size for me to easily quilt on my 25 year old domestic sewing machine (Brother 1500).

Finished size: 54" x 69"

Here is a photo of the grey backing. Hopefully you can see some of the quilting designs. 

I am so delighted that I finished this mystery within a year, and I am looking forward to the next Quiltville mystery adventure which starts in November.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Design Wall Monday

I have been working on my version of the Bats and Boos mystery quilt from the Fat Quarter shop. Step #2 is a complex pumpkin block with a star in the middle. These are the 40 pieces needed for one block.

And this is what the pumpkin block looks like. I'm very happy with where the yellow moons ended up in the layout. This perfect Halloween themed fabric was in my stash.

I found 3 more oranges in the stash and have everything cut out for the remaining pumpkins.

The next step is already posted so I have to get a move on! 

Linking up to Design Wall Monday at Judy's

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Slow Stitching Sunday

Hello stitchers! Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party where we hope you will get lots of inspiration and encouragement from other bloggers to help you on your stitching journey! 

I have been working on a UFO this month, and am finally hand stitching the binding. As you likely know, this is my favourite part of the quilt making process. The project is nearing completion and all the decisions have been made. It's time for the enjoyment of finishing!

What are you hand stitching today? Are you finishing any of your projects? Link up your blog post below and share your progress with us.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Saturday, August 14, 2021

Full Stop Sampler

Angela who blogs at So Scrappy has been hosting a 2021 monthly sampler pattern called Full Stop sewing various punctuation marks such as exclamation blocks, asterisks, and semi-colons.

Here are all my August aqua pieces cut out and ready to sew. I have been making 4 sampler blocks each month. I enjoy these monthly quilty brain snacks!

This month's block is a question mark and here are my 4 blocks. Very cool!

Linking up to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Thursday, August 12, 2021

August UFO

Grassy Creek quilt top
Grassy Creek quilt top

I finally decided (way past the deadline to sign up for One Monthly Goal) that in August I would finish my 2020 Quiltville mystery called Grassy Creek. I had been fussing around since the end of January trying to decide about the border, and impulsively decided I'd had enough of the indecisiveness and declared the quilt top was finished! 

I made 12 blocks for my version (instead of 25) and each of my blocks has a different green, orange, red and gold. I decided to just quilt curves and change colours for each block. I started quilting the green curves and did all 12 green patches first, then orange, then grey, then gold. It was a lot of stop and starts, but it was fun and that's how I like to do my quilting :)

I did not string piece my sashing blocks, so my sashings are a plain piece of grey. 

They seemed a bit puffy with the initial curve quilting, so I added a line of loops through the centre of the sashing to smash them down a bit. Much better.

Monday, August 09, 2021

Design Wall Monday

I have been working away on my local guild's summer mystery quilt. This is the result of sewing the steps for week #5 and measures 42.5" square. The next step will turn it into a rectangular quilt and I'm excited to get sewing!

Linking up to Design Wall Monday

Sunday, August 08, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly link up that celebrates all types of hand stitching! 

This week I finished another embroidered tea towel. I really enjoyed stitching this design. The pattern is from Stitcher's Revolution and I bought the large cotton towels from Mary Maxim.

Most of the stitches were put in outdoors so maybe that's why I associate this project with pure relaxation. Last week I wrote about the outdoor stitching challenge of bees/wasps/hornets, and this week it was mosquitoes eating me alive. I put on the citronella candle and that made it bearable to stay outside. 

Here are the 5 towels I have hand embroidered.

I don't know what I will be stitching today, but likely hand quilting another Life is Beautiful block. What are you hand stitching today? Link up your blog post below and hopefully the link up will be problem free this week!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, August 07, 2021

Scrappy Saturday

It's aqua month at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. This is a colour that I used to dislike, and now I can't even remember why! It's such a pretty colour and I appreciate what aqua can bring to a scrappy project. 

I have been cutting scraps and making a few fish blocks as a leader-ender project. Here are the aqua fish. Looks like one fish needs to go to surgery for adjustments!

This is the Fish School so far! The watery blue  background fabric is leftover from Scraps swimming in the ocean

Linking up to the  RSC scrap party

Friday, August 06, 2021

It's another new mystery!

How can anyone resist a Halloween mystery quiltalong? We all know that I cannot! Fat Quarter Shop's Bats and Boos mystery has started and this is the cutting for the first step. it took me a while since I am not a fast cutter, preferring accuracy to speed. I am using scraps so I have to be careful not to make any cutting mistakes.

The bat block is the first step. I used a black fabric with cat faces, so I call this a "cat bat"!

Click here for the link to the bat block.

Although a fabric bat is very cute, a real bat is not! We had a bat in the house last summer and it was scary. Here is a blurry photo of it hanging on the dining room curtain rod. Yikes!

I much prefer fabric bats!

And here are my 4 bats... hanging upside down of course!

Are you joining in with this mystery?

Monday, August 02, 2021

Design Wall Monday

Today is a "Civic holiday" here and I plan to spend the whole day in the quilt studio. I'm sorting, "cleaning"/rearranging, cutting fabric and sewing. I'm just letting my creative attention go wherever it wants to. 

So far I have put a couple of borders on the summer mystery that my local quilt guild is hosting. It is a lot of yellow in the centre. Maybe I'll fill that space with some feather quilting.

Now I'm onto step #5 and I'm liking this border addition. Next I will cut some "stop border" strips and piece border #5.

Linking up to Design Wall Monday over at Judy's